Following huge data breaches at major retailers, credit and debit cards in the U.S. will now have another layer of security to help prevent fraud. To do this, the magnetic stripe technology is being replaced with what is known as “chip cards” or “EMV” (Europay, MasterCard® and VISA®). These cards are widely used in other areas of the world including Europe, Canada and Mexico. With increased chip card usage in the U.S., card fraud becomes more difficult for criminals and your financial information is safer.
What is a chip card?
Chip cards differ from the traditional magnetic stripe cards in these ways:
- Unlike traditional magnetic stripe cards, duplicating cards is nearly impossible due to the embedded microchip
- A unique one-time code is generated to validate the transaction
- Cards are inserted into the terminal rather than swiped
Improved Fraud Protection
A chip card has a small microchip built into it that contains the same information that’s stored in the magnetic stripe on the back of the card. A chip adds another layer of security to cards by requiring the chip to produce a single-use code to validate the chip transaction, further protecting your card from unauthorized use.
Using a Chip Card
Athens Federal Community Bank Chip Cards
You can count on Athens Federal to provide you with this improved security in these ways:
- Athens Federal MasterCard® debit cards will be re-issued as chip cards in 2016. Your existing debit card will continue to function until the new chip card is issued and no action is required from you.
- Our Zero Liability* policy will continue to protect your credit and debit cards from any fraudulent charges.
What You Need to Know
A majority of business owners who accept card payments have not upgraded to a chip card terminal yet. If you are a business owner that hasn’t upgraded, it’s important to understand how you can continue to accept credit card payments in a secure and cost-effective manner.
To be EMV-ready, simply means upgrading to a chip-enabled terminal and application (hardware and software). With Athens Federal, you would have access to the latest, most secure, fully compliant terminals and applications available. You also will need to know how to perform chip card transactions.
Accepting Chip Cards
Three key reasons to consider upgrading now:
- Chip technology can help to reduce fraud by validating the card and rejecting counterfeit cards.
- As a business owner, you never want to lose a sale. Currently, chip cards will still have the magnetic stripe and will be usable at older terminals. However, as consumers are educated on the added security provided by chip cards, they may choose to only shop at stores with EMV-ready terminals.
- Athens Federal offers many different ways to upgrade your equipment with ease.
Upcoming Liability Shifts
It is also important to understand that a liability shift will occur on October 1, 2015 if you don’t upgrade to a chip enabled terminal (excluding petroleum pay-at-pump businesses, who have until October, 2017). This change results from decisions made by card brands like Visa® and MasterCard®.
This change will shift the liability for the cost incurred from counterfeit card fraud from the issuer to your business, if the card supplied is a chip card but your business is not using a chip-enabled terminal. As long as you have a chip-enabled terminal, you will not be impacted by the October 1st liability shift.
To learn more about chip cards or chip enabled terminals, contact your Athens Federal customer service representative at 1-800-526-3572 or complete and submit the short form below.